Sharp & Dohme

Until the late 1920s, Sharp & Dohme had an extremely effective distribution network but very little in the way of research organization. After the company merged with H. K. Mulford & Co. in 1929, Sharp & Dohme acquired a biological laboratory, which it used to research and develop new vaccines and antitoxins. Between 1935 and 1952, Sharp & Dohme's executives worked on developing the company's research and development organization beyond biologicals, and pursued research on sulfonamides and new formulations of penicillin, and on the development of synthetic blood products. Despite the expansion of Sharp & Dohme's research organization during the late 1930s and 1940s and the opening of its new research facilities in West Point, Pennsylvania, in 1952, the company lacked "an in-house level of scientific expertise" high enough to take full advantage of new developments in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmaceutical science more generally.

For these reasons, the executives of both firms regarded the merger of Sharp & Dohme and Merck & Co. in May 1953 as mutually beneficial. While Merck acquired expanded marketing capacities, Sharp & Dohme merged with one of the most innovative research organizations in the industry. Although both of the companies recognized the value of - and indeed, need for - the merger, the consolidation of the two companies took several years to complete and was characterized by tense relations between Sharp & Dohme, located in West Point, Pennsylvania, and Merck & Co., located in Rahway, New Jersey.

Excerpt from Tobbell's Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and its Consequences, (2012, pp. 28-29).

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), dba Merck Sharp & Dohme, MSD outside the United States and Canada, is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Merck headquarters is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. The company was established in 1891 as the United States subsidiary of the German company now known as Merck KGaA. Merck & Co. was confiscated by the US government during World War I and subsequently established as an independent American company. It is currently one of the World's seven largest pharmaceutical companies by market capitalization and revenue.

Excerpt from Merck & Co.

Merck KGaA (dba EMD Chemicals in the U.S. and Canada) is a German chemical and pharmaceutical company. Merck, also known as “German Merck” and “Merck Darmstadt”, was founded in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1668, making it the world's oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company.[2][3] The company was privately owned until going public in 1995. However, the Merck family still controls a majority (?70%) of the company's shares.

Following World War I, Merck lost possession of its foreign sites, including the Merck & Co. subsidiary in the United States. Merck & Co., which operates as Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) outside the U.S. and Canada, is now an independent company.

Merck KGaA operates mainly in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Since Merck & Co. holds the rights to the Merck name in the U.S. and Canada, the company operates under the umbrella brand EMD Chemicals in North America, formed from the initials of Emanuel Merck, Darmstadt.

Excerpt from Merck KGaA

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